Publicis's first half-year profits up 54%

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PARIS--Publicis Groupe's net profits for the first half of 2000 reached $44 million, a significant 54% hike on the same period in 1999. Gross income for the first six months of the year rose by 42% to $590 million while billings jumped by 43% to $3.9 billion.

The strong results were attributed to a combination of factors, including acquisitions in the U.S., Europe and Latin America, expansion of the group's Internet, marketing services and public relations activities and an additional 300 new clients representing nearly $860 million in additional billings, according to Publicis Groupe Chairman Maurice Levy.

Results do not take into account the French group's recent acquisition of U.K.-based Saatchi & Saatchi. Mr. Levy says the Saatchi acquisition, finalized Sept. 12 when Publicis shares began trading on the New York Stock Exchange, will "add a new dimension to the group," the world's fifth-largest consolidated agency network.

Copyright September 2000, Crain Communications Inc.

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